A woman with a pink “I love California“ print on her shirt was sitting in the nice restaurant. She lifted her dog up to the table and gave him a huge piece of meat from her plate. Her friends were laughing. They all had holes in their jeans.
I was somewhere on the promenade between Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Street performers were selling dreamcatcher and paintings. You could hear the sound of a guitar sometimes. It was the guitar of Crosby Morgan. She is one of the creative people out here who try to make a living and to survive. “I’m playing the guitar for more than eleven years now,” she told me. “That’s my job. I’m here every day for tips.” Her marvelous voice pierced through the overcast sky. It’s June Gloom. Some weather that causes lots of clouds all day. The palms looked grey against it. On the beach right next to the colorful gift shops there were lying brown cardboards, tarpaulins and broken chairs. People without a home. Nobody seemed to be worried or care about that. It was just everyday life out here
On Santa Monica Pier I had to touch the sign of Route 66. End of the Trail. It could not be possible that Chicago was just one month ago, could it? I was feeling that my sense of time was just running across my fingers like the sand on the beach. I passed round about 3500 miles. 2450 on Route 66 and 1000 in the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. I was feeling old and grown up as well as tiny and agitated. Two months in the office back home have always felt like the blink of an eye and the last two months just felt like ages. Maybe that's it: The more you fill your life with meaning the longer it seems to be.
And at least all the lovely people I met on my journey so far mean a lot to me. Old people, young people, sad people, lonesome people, crazy people, happy people. In Los Angeles I had the chance to meet just several very special persons that definitely left traces in my heart and soul.
And then there was Bobby. His girlfriend Jules used to work with a friend of mine at a theater in Germany. But then Jules died just some weeks ago. Suddenly. She was just 29. So my friend asked me to meet Bobby and give him a hug from her when I was coming to Los Angeles. Some days later I was sitting at the beach with Bobby eating one pound of fries. Later we went to a bar drinking wine and talking about art. And Life. It’s quite impossible for me to imagine what must go on in his head after his love was taken away from him for no reason. When I’m thinking about that, tears are coming to my eyes. After Bobby dropped me off at Venice Beach, I was walking all the way back to Santa Monica Pier while the sun was going down. The waves were crashing on the shore. I’m 26 now. What would I do when I just had three more years? It hit me like a lightning: This trip. I would do this trip. Nothing ever felt that right in my life.
On the next day I was meeting Franklin. For the third time. I knew him from Instagram where I admire his outstanding landscape photographs. When he heard that I was really doing that fancy trip across the United States it was clear that we had to meet up. He lives in Orange County. So before this day we just met up at Joshua Tree National Park for shooting and talking in the moonlight and then for a crazy drive on Hollywood Boulevard in the middle of the night by listening to awesome Jazz music on the radio. And now we were meeting again. After having some typical German breakfast (sweet!) he took me to a beach in Malibu with awesome rock formations. We were shooting all the morning, climbing into holes and laughing about tomatoes. When he dropped me off again my soul grows heavy. Tomorrow I’m going to leave off to San Francisco on Highway 1. Everyday I lose more money from my bank account. Everyday I’m going to be a little worse off. But for every Dollar I spend here I receive a treasure chest full of experiences, emotions, friends and moments nobody can ever take away from me again. Even if someday there is nothing left and I have to gaze out of a rotten tent.